It may be hard to believe, but this portrait simply referred to as Redhead Girl is not a photograph. Once you come to realize what you’re looking at is created by hand, your mind may go straight to being amazed that someone painted such a detailed image, but this is not a painting either. This hyperrealistic portrait is, in fact, an illustration drawn with ordinary Bic ballpoint pens.
The artist behind the creation is Portugal-based art enthusiast Samuel Silva, aka VianaArts. The 29-year-old lawyer, who practices drawing as a hobby, has put in a great deal of time (approximately 30 hours) and effort to realistically simulate every detail of this young woman, from her fiery red hair to the speckled freckles that embellish her face. Silva says “Ballpoint pens are as underestimated as they are a powerful medium. It’s not about what you use, it’s about how you use it.”
Since Silva’s drawing has been submitted to reddit, it has garnered much attention and praise for the skill involved. It has also raised a lot of questions that Silva has taken the time to address. While some have trouble understanding where he gets the colorful pens and how he blends them, Silva explains that they are available for purchase at “any good office supply store” and he uses a crosshatching method, amongst the 6 colors and one black pen he used for this portrait, to get the varied hues.